New research reveals a startling new finding: fluoride is likely contributing to the epidemic of cardiovascular disease by stimulating calcification of the vascular system, including the coronary arteries.
In a study published in the journal Nuclear Medicine Communications this month (Jan. 2012), researchers assessed fluoride uptake and calcification in the major arteries of 61 patients who were administered sodium fluoride, the active ingredient in most fluoridated toothpastes. The study revealed:
"The coronary fluoride uptake value in patients with cardiovascular events was significantly higher than in patients without cardiovascular events."
They also found that there was a signification correlation between fluoride uptake and calcification observed in most of the arterial walls, indicating that the fluoride itself likely stimulates the precipitation of calcium within the arteries.
It is already well-known that vascular calcification is highly correlated with cardiovascular disease mortality. The hardening of the arteries associated with atherosclerosis is in part due to the calcification of plaque which subsequently becomes brittle and susceptible to breaking off into an artery-obstructing clot.
Even taking elemental calcium supplements (sourced from limestone, bone meal or oyster shell), at doses as low* as 500 mg a day, was shown in two meta-analyses last year to increase the risk of heart attack by up to 27%.
What is novel about this new study is that it indicates how cardiovascular calcification may be occurring. Beyond the excessive consumption of inorganic calcium, fluoride may be an essential factor in mediating calcium's contribution to enhanced cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Fluoride exposure is now ubiquitous, thanks to the fluoridation of public drinking water, medications like Prozac (fluoxetine), non-stick cookware, to name but a few common routes of exposure.
Fluoride-induced calcification is not a new finding. Back in 2001, autopsies on cadavers revealed that fluoride accumulation in the pineal gland is associated with enhanced calcification of that endocrine organ.
*The National Osteoporosis Foundation, whose corporate sponsors include elemental calcium supplement manufacturers Oscal and Citracal, recommend 1200 mg a day for women over 40.